Kindler Syndrome

Updated: Aug 17, 2015
  • Author: Anatoli Freiman, MD, FRCPC, DABD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Kindler syndrome was first described in 1954 by Theresa Kindler. Kindler syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive genodermatosis characterized by congenital acral skin blistering, photosensitivity, progressive poikiloderma, and diffuse cutaneous atrophy. The syndrome is a combination of features of inherited blistering skin disorders (eg, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa) and congenital poikilodermas (eg, Rothmund-Thompson syndrome). Kindler syndrome is identified as entry 173650 in the Online Mendelian Inheritance of Man database. Note the image set below.

Images show the progression of lesions. A and B: A Images show the progression of lesions. A and B: At birth, acral blisters and erosions are present. C and D: At age 5 years, atrophy and reticulated erythema with dyschromic patches are noted. E and F: At age 7 years, progressive poikilodermatous changes with reticulated erythema and telangiectasia occur. G and H: At age 10 and 15 years, poikiloderma with telangiectasia and depigmentation are observed. Excoriations are due to pruritus. Reprinted from Yasukawa K, Sato-Matsumura KC, McMillan J, et al: Exclusion of COL7A1 mutation in Kindler syndrome. J Am Acad Dermatol 2002 Mar; 46(3): 447-50. Courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology.


In 2003, Siegel et al mapped the disease locus to band 20p12.3 by using linkage and homozygosity analysis in an isolated cohort of patients with Kindler syndrome. [1] Loss-of-function mutations were identified in the candidate gene FLJ20116, which was renamed KIND1. This gene encodes a 677–amino acid protein, kindlin-1, which is thought to play a regulatory role in inhibiting oversecretion of basement membrane components by basal keratinocytes at the dermoepidermal junction. [2, 3]

Kindlin-1 is a human homolog of the Caenorhabditis elegans protein UNC-112, a membrane-associated structural/signaling protein that had been implicated in linking the actin cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Kindler syndrome is the first genodermatosis caused by a defect in actin-ECM linkage rather than keratin-ECM linkage, underlying the pathology of other inherited skin fragility disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa.




Since the first description in 1954 by Theresa Kindler, more than 100 cases of Kindler syndrome have been reported worldwide. A cluster of 26 patients with the syndrome has been identified within a tribe in the Bocas del Toro province on the northwestern Caribbean coast of Panama. [4]


Persons of any race can be affected.


No sex predilection has been documented.


Patients usually present with the initial skin manifestations during the first year of life.